What’s the best time to post on Facebook? When your audience is there, of course.
Finding the best time to post can increase your engagement, your reach, and even your sales.
In this article, I’ll breakdown how to find the times that work best for both your brand and audience.
It’s no secret that Facebook hasn’t exactly made it easy to reach your audience.
But it still remains one of the most powerful social media platforms for marketing.
First of all, Facebook fans are ready to engage, and users leave nearly 5 billion comments on Facebook Pages every month.
They’re also on the site daily – spending roughly half an hour there each day.
And it’s not just for social reasons.
A survey from Curalate found that 52% of participants had found a new retail product on Facebook – and were interested in buying.
This is all great news for brands. Fans are there, they’re engaging, and they’re open to finding businesses.
But in order to reach them, you’ll need to uncover when they’re using Facebook.
First, You Have to Know Your Target Audience
Before you even think about planning a posting schedule, you have to know who you’re talking to.
So begin with the basics and define your target audience.
- What are their demographics? Age? Gender?
- What do they do for a living?
- Where do they live?
- What’s their highest level of education?
By answering those questions and creating a full buyer persona, you should be able to better understand your audience, and even when they may be most likely to use Facebook.
For example, if your target market is college students, you already know they operate on a very different schedule than middle-aged businessmen, and can begin to schedule your posts accordingly.
How Time Zones Affect the Best Times to Post on Facebook
It sounded so simple, didn’t it? Some quick research and a few industry standards and voila, you have your timing figured out.
Until you take nuances like time zones into account, not to mention different countries.
The bad news is it’s almost impossible to account for all factors. If you tried, you would end up sending the same post several times a day – and quickly find your audience slipping.
Instead, we rely on a few industry standards.
You’ll want to schedule your posts based on where the majority of your audience is, and if you cater to a global audience Google Analytics can help you with that.
As far as time zones go, nearly 50% of the U.S. population is in the Eastern Time Zone, and the Eastern and Central time zones combined comprise almost 80% of the population.
Given those numbers, I’d say the Eastern or Central is a safe place to start.
What the Stats Say About the Best Times to Post on Facebook
This isn’t new ground. Companies have been researching the best times to post for years, which has given marketers a lot of valuable information to rely on.
So what do we know about Facebook?
First off, the findings vary.
CoSchedule took it a step further and analyzed 20 different studies, concluding that posts Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays produced the highest engagement.
Beyond that, they report that posts at 3pm get the most clicks, while posts at 1pm get the most engagement.
Given the available information, we can make a few assumptions. Mainly, afternoons are ideal, and Tuesdays don’t produce the same results that other days do.
Save your best content for Thursday – Sunday, and expect to see lower engagement rates mid-week.
Ultimately, these results should serve as general guidelines and a starting off point for businesses new to Facebook; but to get the most accurate read you’ll need to conduct a little research of your own.
As far as frequency goes, you don’t have to worry about sending out constant updates with Facebook. One post a day will cut it.
Experiment with the times above, as well as outside the norm. Over time, you’ll be able to see which times are producing the best results.
Use Tools to Track the Best Times to Post on Facebook
As always, analytics are your friend when it comes to account optimization.
Once you’ve begun posting consistently, you’ll be able to draw from your own analytics to determine when your audience is most active and engaged.
The best place to start is Facebook Insights.
To find your page Insights, go to your profile and click Insights at the top of you Page.
To track when your fans are online, you’ll select Posts from the left-hand column. You’ll automatically be given a detailed chart that shows the days and times your fans are most active on Facebook.
The averages will be displayed, and you can hover your mouse over a specific to see how that day’s activity compares to the average.
From this data, you’ll be able to determine the best time slots to target the biggest number of fans.
In your Insights, you’ll also be able to see the timing of your most successful posts. You’ll start in the same place – the Posts section of Page Insights – and select All Posts Published under the chart.
The Published column will tell you the exact date and time each post was published. Using this data, you can sort through and start to identify and common themes or trends regarding publishing times and higher engagement rates.
Keep in mind, other tools like Fanpage Karma are also great tools to help keep tabs on your post-performance, and it’s often a good idea to compare the findings between the two.
Once you begin to get a clearer picture of when your fans are online and how it correlates with your post engagement, you can start to test your theories.
The most effective way to start is by using an automation tool.
Schedule Your Posts Using Social Media Automation
Now, it is possible to simply post all updates yourself. But because scheduling and timing are so crucial to engagement, take the pressure off by loading your updates into an automation platform.
There are plenty to choose from, but my personal favorite is MeetEdgar.
Once you’ve created an account and connected your social media accounts, you’ll create different categories for your posts (educational, blog posts, tips, questions, etc.) and enter your content.
There, you’ll be able to use the schedule settings to choose the exact day and time you would like your post to run.
Here’s the cool part. Once you’ve submitted your post, MeetEdgar will recycle it in your content queue based on category, unless you specify a date to stop running the post.
This way, you’ll have your posts lined up to run on schedule – and continue to run on the days you don’t have time to update.
What About Ads?
Running ads on Facebook is an extremely effective way to reach your audience.
Considering how difficult it is for businesses to find success on purely organic posts, running ads can may be your best bet for success.
According to Facebook, the cheapest days to run ads are Sunday and Monday. These days see the lowest cost per click, while Friday’s had the highest.
Given what we know from the surveys above, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. And just because they’re the cheapest days doesn’t mean they’re the best for your business.
Clearly, Facebook’s clicks cost the most because it’s such a popular day, which means the potential for more traffic from your ad.
Depending on your budget, you’ll again want to run tests and experiments to find which days prove most valuable.
Remember, There May Not be One Best Time to Post on Facebook
Despite all the data in the world, it’s nearly impossible to draw definite conclusions.
With 2.07 billion monthly active users, Facebook has more users than any other social media platform.
It’s a blessing and a curse. Yes, at least part of your audience is almost sure to be there. But so is every other business trying to target them.
Increased competition means less exposure for your brand (On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook!)
With such fierce competition, the most popular times to post could actually be the worst for business, as you’re that much more likely to get lost in the shuffle.
But all that means is that it’s increasingly important for you to rely on your own analytics and engagement rates to narrow down the times that work best for you.
FAQ on Best Time to Post on Facebook
1. What is the Best Time to Post on Facebook for Maximum Exposure?
According to an aggregation of studies, the best time to post on Facebook for maximum exposure is:
- Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 1 PM
- Thursday and Friday between 1 and 4 PM
- Wednesday at 3 PM
In general, the best times to post on Facebook for maximum exposure are:
- 1 PM
- 3 PM
- 9 AM
As a rule of thumb, posts published during those times receive higher engagement. That means the Facebook algorithm will give them greater exposure.
Keep in mind: about 80% of the U.S. population lives in the Eastern and Central time zones. That means these studies are probably skewed in favor of the eastern half of the United States.
If you live on the west coast, take these studies as a starting point and conduct your own analysis. You might find that they’re the best times to post for maximum exposure in your time zone as well, but it’s best to check your analytics.
2. When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook on Sunday?
Believe it or not, you might be able to give your brand quite a bit more exposure by posting content on the weekend. That’s especially true if you post on Sunday.
Why? For starters, you’re not competing with other businesses that take the weekends off.
Also, there are numbers that back up the importance of posting on Saturday and Sunday.
According to one study, 13% of posts that were published on the weekend generated the most social shares overall.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to post on Sunday before 8 AM and after 8 PM. There are a couple of possible reasons why those times work so well.
First, when you post early in the morning, you give yourself a chance to catch early risers and people who like to sleep in.
When you post later at night, you can get your brand in front of people who are checking social media before going to bed for the night.
3. What is the Best Time to Post on Facebook in 2018?
There are numerous studies that have sought to answer the question “What is the best time to post on Facebook in 2018?” Unfortunately, those studies don’t always agree.
However, you can take a look at patterns within all the research and get somewhat of a consensus. That’s what Coschedule did.
The company aggregated 23 social media studies to determine the best times to post on each channel. It’s a pretty exhaustive analysis.
According to one study from Elle & Co., the best days to post on Facebook are Saturday and Sunday. The best time is 1 PM.
Another study by Fast Company says that the best time to share on Facebook is between 1 and 4 PM. That research found that Wednesday is the best day to post.
According to Huffington Post, though, the best days are Thursday and Friday, usually in the mid-afternoon.
When Coschedule aggregated the studies, the company found that the best time to post on Facebook is between Thursday and Sunday at 9 AM, 1 PM, or 3 PM.
4. Is There a Best Time to Post on Facebook for Likes?
According to a study by KISSMetrics, entitled ‘How to Get More Likes On Facebook,” you should focus on when you post as well as what you post.
KISSMetrics says that Facebook activity peaks at around 3PM on weekdays. Traffic dwindles off after that and spikes a bit more during the 7 PM and 8 PM hours.
Which day of the week offers the best opportunity for likes? Wednesday, according to the study. Traffic steadily increases leading up to the middle of the week and then dwindles off again heading into the weekend.
However, KISSMetrics also says that just because activity peaks at certain times, that doesn’t mean those times are best for you to post. Always test your marketing efforts and check your analytics to see what works best for your brand.
KISSMetrics defines “activity” as the number of posts or comments published during a single hour.
5. Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram on Saturday?
Not according to some of the latest research.
An aggregation of studies on the best times to post on social media found that the best time to post on Instagram is some time during the week.
For example, an Elle & Co. study found that Monday is the best time to post on Instagram. A MarketingProfs study agreed with that assessment.
According to Huffington Post, though, Instagram’s peak time is Wednesday at 7 PM.
TrackMaven found slight peaks in Instagram activity on Thursday and Monday.
As always, though, it’s best to conduct your own research. Check your analytics reports to find out which posting times give you the best engagements.
6. When Is the Best Time to Post on LinkedIn?
Quite a bit of research has gone into answering the question: “When is the best time to post on LinkedIn?” The answers aren’t consistent.
The consensus leans towards Tuesday through Thursday as the best days to post on LinkedIn. The best times are all over the place:
- 7 – 8 AM
- 12 PM
- 5 – 6 PM
If you think about it, though, those times do make sense.
It’s a good idea to post between 7 and 8 AM so you can catch people at the beginning of their business day.
It’s a good idea to post at noon to engage with people who are checking LinkedIn during a lunch break.
It’s a good idea to post at night so that you can promote your business to people who check LinkedIn after business hours.
7. Overall, What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2018?
There’s no “one size fits all” strategy when it comes to posting an all of social media. It’s best to look at optimal times to post on specific channels.
Fortunately, Coschedule has already aggregated a number of studies and found the best times for each social media site:
- Facebook: Thursday – Sunday at 9 AM, 1 PM, or 3 PM
- Twitter: Wednesday at 12 PM, 3 PM, or 5 – 6 PM
- LinkedIn: Tuesday – Thursday at 7 – 8 AM, 12 PM, or 5 – 6 PM
- Pinterest: Saturday or Sunday at 2 PM, 9 PM, or 2 AM
- Instagram: Monday or Thursday at 2 AM, 8 – 9 AM, or 5 PM
- Google+: Wednesday at 9 AM, 11 AM, or 12 – 1 PM
As always, though, you shouldn’t wholly rely on studies. Instead, conduct your own tests to find out when your posts gain maximum exposure and engagement.
So when is the best time to post on Facebook? There’s no one size fits all answer.
There are more popular times overall, and those are a good jumping off point when composing your own schedule.
From there, you can analyze and tweak as needed as you become more familiar with your audience and when they’re most active.
Remember, factors like time zone make a difference, and you should always rely on analytics to determine what’s best for your business.